Spinach Artichoke Risotto Balls are crispy bite-sized balls of creamy risotto coated in panko crumbs and fried until golden brown and crunchy. The perfect addition to your game day menu or as a luxurious appetizer for a romantic dinner at home!
Spinach Artichoke Risotto Balls
Confession Time: sometimes I make risotto just to have extra so I can make these Easy Risotto Cakes. Most people dislike leftover risotto, but not me, I embrace it. And by embrace it, I mean I fry it.
So last week, I made this and had a ton of leftovers. I was all ready to make my easy cakes and put an egg on it for breakfast the next morning, until Dawn at Girl Heart Food suggested I make arancini instead.
Ummm, fried little balls instead of cakes...I'M IN!!! And just like that, these crispy spinach artichoke risotto balls were created.
The only thing is I didn't feel like I could straight legit call my recipe arancini (Italian rice balls), since mine aren't stuffed in the middle, but instead have the filling incorporated throughout the rice.
Not to fret though, my rice ball recipe has a ton of cheese in it (3 cups!) so the fried balls do come out all moist and cheesy inside, without the need to add the stuffed element at the center.
BTW, check out Dawn's version here of a rice ball with the ooey, gooey, molten lava cheese center if you're feeling a little more traditional.
I picked up a great tip in this Serious Eats article that suggests replacing the flour and egg breading steps with a flour slurry. A slurry is a smooth mixture of a starch and a liquid typically used to thicken soups and sauces.
In this recipe, the slurry is used to form a thin wet coating of the flour mixture on the outside of the risotto ball which acts like a glue for the finely ground panko crumbs or breadcrumbs. It worked perfectly and produced the ultimate crunchy exterior to the rice balls.
Once fried, these crispy bites have the cheesy goodness of a great risotto, the smooth tanginess of spinach artichoke dip and the light crunch of the fried panko coating.
These risotto spinach artichoke balls were delish and so different than your traditional game day eats. Best served right from the fryer but they actually hold up really well and are still pretty darn good as they cool down.
Want to re-crisp them? Just reheat in the oven and they're as good as new!
The bites are so delicious on their own but they also pair nicely with lots of different sauces. I served them with some leftover spicy salsa verde and with a marinara sauce. They would be wonderful with a traditional tomato based salsa as well.
So go make some spinach artichoke risotto for dinner tonight and use the leftovers for these crispy, downright yummy risotto spinach artichoke balls!
Crispy and Creamy Spinach Artichoke Risotto Balls
- 2 cups leftover Spinach Artichoke Risotto , chilled
- 2 cups finely ground panko crumbs or breadcrumbs
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- Neutral oil for frying , vegetable or canola
- Put the panko or breadcrumbs in a bowl and set aside. In another bowl, make the slurry by whisking together ¼ cup of the water and the ¼ cup of flour into a smooth paste. Whisk in the remaining ¼ cup of water.
- Take a couple of tablespoons of risotto and shape into a round ball. Gently roll the risotto ball in the flour slurry, then roll it in the breadcrumbs until all sides are coated.
- Place the breaded balls on a plate and repeat the process with the remaining risotto. Place the risotto balls in the refrigerator while the oil heats up.
- Place 3-4 inches of oil in a medium sized heavy bottomed saucepan and heat to 350F degrees. Set up a cooling rack over a baking sheet or use a paper lined plate and place next to the oil.
- Remove the risotto balls from the refrigerator. Using a slotted spoon, lower each one into the hot oil (3 or 4 at a time) and fry for about 3 to 4 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy. Place on rack or paper towels to drain.
- Serve immediately plain or with your favorite sauce.
Recipe Notes & Tips:
- Store leftovers in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Reheat in a 350F degrees oven.
- Can serve with a marinara sauce.
Agness of Run Agness Run
I adore risotto but this sounds way to better! I am saving this recipe for later, Karrie!
Beeta @ Mon Petit Four
I love the way you embrace leftovers 😉 Frying is always the way to go to make things feel brand spanking new and irresistible! lol These look dangerously good...like they might not last for my valentine....is that bad? lol
Oh hello, beautiful nuggets of deliciousness. I'll take an entire batch for one, please! Seriously, these look ahhhmazing!
Hi Karrie, I love the color and texture of these arancini. I could just imagine the crunch as you bite into it and then the creamy rice, bits of spinach, and artichoke all held by those stringy gooey cheese. I am drooling, give me a bit of marinara sauce and I am set.
Way to go on this one Karrie
Talk about unique AF! I seriously think they may be tooooo sophisticated for the typical/average football watching person?? ahahahahahaha! But there is me just stereotyping 😉 I am no fan of football, so instead of watching that, I'd want to chow down on all of these - cause I mean, I am sophisticated!?
Oh yum, Karrie! You're making me hungry again, and I have to go to yoga and will eat after 2 p.m.!! 🙂 Seriously, they look amazing, with that crispy exterior and soft, cheesy interior! Great job!
Karyl | Karyl's Kulinary Krusade
I haven't made risotto in forever. But this recipe is inspiring me to make some this weekend! These risotto bites look amazing! I love that you added spinach for a little green and "healthy" 🙂 Pinning this recipe for sure
Crispy rice balls speak to my heart! I'm a huge fan of arancini and will make them as often as I can...they're always a hit at the holidays! Your version looks fabulous, my friend! You and Dawn know the deal!
Karrie! I love risotto, and this recipe seems like the perfect fit for me!! just delicious!
Karen (Back Road Journal)
Oh yum…no telling how many of these I could eat. Let's hope our PATS win the Superbowl.
I tried frying risotto balls for the first time this week, shame I didn't come across your tips before I made mine, because they look a lot better!